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033a4603 1.\" Copyright (c) 2001 Matthew Dillon. Terms and conditions are those of
2.\" the BSD Copyright as specified in the file "/usr/src/COPYRIGHT" in
3.\" the source tree.
5.\" $FreeBSD: src/share/man/man7/tuning.7,v 2002/12/17 19:32:08 dillon Exp $
033a4603 6.\" $DragonFly: src/share/man/man7/tuning.7,v 1.4 2004/06/28 02:57:10 drhodus Exp $
8.Dd May 25, 2001
11.Sh NAME
12.Nm tuning
9bb2a92d 13.Nd performance tuning under DragonFly
15When using
16.Xr disklabel 8
18.Xr sysinstall 8
19to lay out your filesystems on a hard disk it is important to remember
20that hard drives can transfer data much more quickly from outer tracks
21than they can from inner tracks.
22To take advantage of this you should
23try to pack your smaller filesystems and swap closer to the outer tracks,
24follow with the larger filesystems, and end with the largest filesystems.
25It is also important to size system standard filesystems such that you
26will not be forced to resize them later as you scale the machine up.
27I usually create, in order, a 128M root, 1G swap, 128M
28.Pa /var ,
30.Pa /var/tmp ,
32.Pa /usr ,
33and use any remaining space for
34.Pa /home .
36You should typically size your swap space to approximately 2x main memory.
37If you do not have a lot of RAM, though, you will generally want a lot
38more swap.
39It is not recommended that you configure any less than
40256M of swap on a system and you should keep in mind future memory
41expansion when sizing the swap partition.
42The kernel's VM paging algorithms are tuned to perform best when there is
43at least 2x swap versus main memory.
44Configuring too little swap can lead
45to inefficiencies in the VM page scanning code as well as create issues
46later on if you add more memory to your machine.
47Finally, on larger systems
48with multiple SCSI disks (or multiple IDE disks operating on different
49controllers), we strongly recommend that you configure swap on each drive
50(up to four drives).
51The swap partitions on the drives should be approximately the same size.
52The kernel can handle arbitrary sizes but
53internal data structures scale to 4 times the largest swap partition.
55the swap partitions near the same size will allow the kernel to optimally
56stripe swap space across the N disks.
57Do not worry about overdoing it a
58little, swap space is the saving grace of
60and even if you do not normally use much swap, it can give you more time to
61recover from a runaway program before being forced to reboot.
63How you size your
64.Pa /var
65partition depends heavily on what you intend to use the machine for.
67partition is primarily used to hold mailboxes, the print spool, and log
69Some people even make
70.Pa /var/log
71its own partition (but except for extreme cases it is not worth the waste
72of a partition ID).
73If your machine is intended to act as a mail
74or print server,
75or you are running a heavily visited web server, you should consider
76creating a much larger partition \(en perhaps a gig or more.
77It is very easy
78to underestimate log file storage requirements.
81.Pa /var/tmp
82depends on the kind of temporary file usage you think you will need.
83128M is
84the minimum we recommend.
85Also note that sysinstall will create a
86.Pa /tmp
88Dedicating a partition for temporary file storage is important for
89two reasons: first, it reduces the possibility of filesystem corruption
90in a crash, and second it reduces the chance of a runaway process that
91fills up
92.Oo Pa /var Oc Ns Pa /tmp
93from blowing up more critical subsystems (mail,
94logging, etc).
95Filling up
96.Oo Pa /var Oc Ns Pa /tmp
97is a very common problem to have.
99In the old days there were differences between
100.Pa /tmp
102.Pa /var/tmp ,
103but the introduction of
104.Pa /var
106.Pa /var/tmp )
107led to massive confusion
108by program writers so today programs haphazardly use one or the
109other and thus no real distinction can be made between the two.
110So it makes sense to have just one temporary directory and
111softlink to it from the other tmp directory locations.
112However you handle
113.Pa /tmp ,
114the one thing you do not want to do is leave it sitting
115on the root partition where it might cause root to fill up or possibly
116corrupt root in a crash/reboot situation.
119.Pa /usr
120partition holds the bulk of the files required to support the system and
121a subdirectory within it called
122.Pa /usr/local
123holds the bulk of the files installed from the
124.Xr ports 7
126If you do not use ports all that much and do not intend to keep
127system source
128.Pq Pa /usr/src
129on the machine, you can get away with
130a 1 gigabyte
131.Pa /usr
133However, if you install a lot of ports
134(especially window managers and Linux-emulated binaries), we recommend
135at least a 2 gigabyte
136.Pa /usr
137and if you also intend to keep system source
138on the machine, we recommend a 3 gigabyte
139.Pa /usr .
140Do not underestimate the
141amount of space you will need in this partition, it can creep up and
142surprise you!
145.Pa /home
146partition is typically used to hold user-specific data.
147I usually size it to the remainder of the disk.
149Why partition at all?
150Why not create one big
151.Pa /
152partition and be done with it?
153Then I do not have to worry about undersizing things!
154Well, there are several reasons this is not a good idea.
156each partition has different operational characteristics and separating them
157allows the filesystem to tune itself to those characteristics.
158For example,
159the root and
160.Pa /usr
161partitions are read-mostly, with very little writing, while
162a lot of reading and writing could occur in
163.Pa /var
165.Pa /var/tmp .
166By properly
167partitioning your system fragmentation introduced in the smaller more
168heavily write-loaded partitions will not bleed over into the mostly-read
170Additionally, keeping the write-loaded partitions closer to
171the edge of the disk (i.e. before the really big partitions instead of after
172in the partition table) will increase I/O performance in the partitions
173where you need it the most.
174Now it is true that you might also need I/O
175performance in the larger partitions, but they are so large that shifting
176them more towards the edge of the disk will not lead to a significant
177performance improvement whereas moving
178.Pa /var
179to the edge can have a huge impact.
180Finally, there are safety concerns.
181Having a small neat root partition that
182is essentially read-only gives it a greater chance of surviving a bad crash
185Properly partitioning your system also allows you to tune
186.Xr newfs 8 ,
188.Xr tunefs 8
191.Xr newfs 8
192requires more experience but can lead to significant improvements in
194There are three parameters that are relatively safe to tune:
195.Em blocksize , bytes/i-node ,
197.Em cylinders/group .
9bb2a92d 199.Dx
200performs best when using 8K or 16K filesystem block sizes.
201The default filesystem block size is 16K,
202which provides best performance for most applications,
203with the exception of those that perform random access on large files
204(such as database server software).
205Such applications tend to perform better with a smaller block size,
206although modern disk characteristics are such that the performance
207gain from using a smaller block size may not be worth consideration.
208Using a block size larger than 16K
209can cause fragmentation of the buffer cache and
210lead to lower performance.
212The defaults may be unsuitable
213for a filesystem that requires a very large number of i-nodes
214or is intended to hold a large number of very small files.
215Such a filesystem should be created with an 8K or 4K block size.
216This also requires you to specify a smaller
217fragment size.
218We recommend always using a fragment size that is 1/8
219the block size (less testing has been done on other fragment size factors).
221.Xr newfs 8
222options for this would be
223.Dq Li "newfs -f 1024 -b 8192 ..." .
225If a large partition is intended to be used to hold fewer, larger files, such
226as database files, you can increase the
227.Em bytes/i-node
228ratio which reduces the number of i-nodes (maximum number of files and
229directories that can be created) for that partition.
230Decreasing the number
231of i-nodes in a filesystem can greatly reduce
232.Xr fsck 8
233recovery times after a crash.
234Do not use this option
235unless you are actually storing large files on the partition, because if you
236overcompensate you can wind up with a filesystem that has lots of free
237space remaining but cannot accommodate any more files.
238Using 32768, 65536, or 262144 bytes/i-node is recommended.
239You can go higher but
240it will have only incremental effects on
241.Xr fsck 8
242recovery times.
243For example,
244.Dq Li "newfs -i 32768 ..." .
246.Xr tunefs 8
247may be used to further tune a filesystem.
248This command can be run in
249single-user mode without having to reformat the filesystem.
250However, this is possibly the most abused program in the system.
251Many people attempt to
252increase available filesystem space by setting the min-free percentage to 0.
253This can lead to severe filesystem fragmentation and we do not recommend
254that you do this.
255Really the only
256.Xr tunefs 8
257option worthwhile here is turning on
258.Em softupdates
260.Dq Li "tunefs -n enable /filesystem" .
261(Note: in
262.Fx 4.5
263and later, softupdates can be turned on using the
264.Fl U
265option to
266.Xr newfs 8 ,
268.Xr sysinstall 8
269will typically enable softupdates automatically for non-root filesystems).
270Softupdates drastically improves meta-data performance, mainly file
271creation and deletion.
272We recommend enabling softupdates on most filesystems; however, there
273are two limitations to softupdates that you should be aware of when
274determining whether to use it on a filesystem.
275First, softupdates guarantees filesystem consistency in the
276case of a crash but could very easily be several seconds (even a minute!)
277behind on pending writes to the physical disk.
278If you crash you may lose more work
279than otherwise.
280Secondly, softupdates delays the freeing of filesystem
282If you have a filesystem (such as the root filesystem) which is
283close to full, doing a major update of it, e.g.\&
284.Dq Li "make installworld" ,
285can run it out of space and cause the update to fail.
286For this reason, softupdates will not be enabled on the root filesystem
287during a typical install. There is no loss of performance since the root
288filesystem is rarely written to.
290A number of run-time
291.Xr mount 8
292options exist that can help you tune the system.
293The most obvious and most dangerous one is
294.Cm async .
295Do not ever use it; it is far too dangerous.
296A less dangerous and more
298.Xr mount 8
299option is called
300.Cm noatime .
302filesystems normally update the last-accessed time of a file or
303directory whenever it is accessed.
304This operation is handled in
9bb2a92d 305.Dx
306with a delayed write and normally does not create a burden on the system.
307However, if your system is accessing a huge number of files on a continuing
308basis the buffer cache can wind up getting polluted with atime updates,
309creating a burden on the system.
310For example, if you are running a heavily
311loaded web site, or a news server with lots of readers, you might want to
312consider turning off atime updates on your larger partitions with this
313.Xr mount 8
315However, you should not gratuitously turn off atime
316updates everywhere.
317For example, the
318.Pa /var
319filesystem customarily
320holds mailboxes, and atime (in combination with mtime) is used to
321determine whether a mailbox has new mail.
322You might as well leave
323atime turned on for mostly read-only partitions such as
324.Pa /
326.Pa /usr
327as well.
328This is especially useful for
329.Pa /
330since some system utilities
331use the atime field for reporting.
333In larger systems you can stripe partitions from several drives together
334to create a much larger overall partition.
335Striping can also improve
336the performance of a filesystem by splitting I/O operations across two
337or more disks.
339.Xr vinum 8
341.Xr ccdconfig 8
342utilities may be used to create simple striped filesystems.
344speaking, striping smaller partitions such as the root and
345.Pa /var/tmp ,
346or essentially read-only partitions such as
347.Pa /usr
348is a complete waste of time.
349You should only stripe partitions that require serious I/O performance,
351.Pa /var , /home ,
352or custom partitions used to hold databases and web pages.
353Choosing the proper stripe size is also
355Filesystems tend to store meta-data on power-of-2 boundaries
356and you usually want to reduce seeking rather than increase seeking.
358means you want to use a large off-center stripe size such as 1152 sectors
359so sequential I/O does not seek both disks and so meta-data is distributed
360across both disks rather than concentrated on a single disk.
362you really need to get sophisticated, we recommend using a real hardware
363RAID controller from the list of
9bb2a92d 364.Dx
365supported controllers.
367.Xr sysctl 8
368variables permit system behavior to be monitored and controlled at
370Some sysctls simply report on the behavior of the system; others allow
371the system behavior to be modified;
372some may be set at boot time using
373.Xr rc.conf 5 ,
374but most will be set via
375.Xr sysctl.conf 5 .
376There are several hundred sysctls in the system, including many that appear
377to be candidates for tuning but actually are not.
378In this document we will only cover the ones that have the greatest effect
379on the system.
382.Va kern.ipc.shm_use_phys
383sysctl defaults to 0 (off) and may be set to 0 (off) or 1 (on).
385this parameter to 1 will cause all System V shared memory segments to be
386mapped to unpageable physical RAM.
387This feature only has an effect if you
388are either (A) mapping small amounts of shared memory across many (hundreds)
389of processes, or (B) mapping large amounts of shared memory across any
390number of processes.
391This feature allows the kernel to remove a great deal
392of internal memory management page-tracking overhead at the cost of wiring
393the shared memory into core, making it unswappable.
396.Va vfs.vmiodirenable
397sysctl defaults to 1 (on).
398This parameter controls how directories are cached
399by the system.
400Most directories are small and use but a single fragment
401(typically 1K) in the filesystem and even less (typically 512 bytes) in
402the buffer cache.
403However, when operating in the default mode the buffer
404cache will only cache a fixed number of directories even if you have a huge
405amount of memory.
406Turning on this sysctl allows the buffer cache to use
407the VM Page Cache to cache the directories.
408The advantage is that all of
409memory is now available for caching directories.
410The disadvantage is that
411the minimum in-core memory used to cache a directory is the physical page
412size (typically 4K) rather than 512 bytes.
413We recommend turning this option off in memory-constrained environments;
414however, when on, it will substantially improve the performance of services
415that manipulate a large number of files.
416Such services can include web caches, large mail systems, and news systems.
417Turning on this option will generally not reduce performance even with the
418wasted memory but you should experiment to find out.
421.Va vfs.write_behind
422sysctl defaults to 1 (on). This tells the filesystem to issue media
423writes as full clusters are collected, which typically occurs when writing
424large sequential files. The idea is to avoid saturating the buffer
425cache with dirty buffers when it would not benefit I/O performance. However,
426this may stall processes and under certain circumstances you may wish to turn
427it off.
430.Va vfs.hirunningspace
431sysctl determines how much outstanding write I/O may be queued to
432disk controllers system wide at any given instance. The default is
433usually sufficient but on machines with lots of disks you may want to bump
434it up to four or five megabytes. Note that setting too high a value
435(exceeding the buffer cache's write threshold) can lead to extremely
436bad clustering performance. Do not set this value arbitrarily high! Also,
437higher write queueing values may add latency to reads occuring at the same
440There are various other buffer-cache and VM page cache related sysctls.
441We do not recommend modifying these values.
442As of
443.Fx 4.3 ,
444the VM system does an extremely good job tuning itself.
447.Va net.inet.tcp.sendspace
449.Va net.inet.tcp.recvspace
450sysctls are of particular interest if you are running network intensive
452They control the amount of send and receive buffer space
453allowed for any given TCP connection.
454The default sending buffer is 32K; the default receiving buffer
455is 64K.
456You can often
457improve bandwidth utilization by increasing the default at the cost of
458eating up more kernel memory for each connection.
459We do not recommend
460increasing the defaults if you are serving hundreds or thousands of
461simultaneous connections because it is possible to quickly run the system
462out of memory due to stalled connections building up.
463But if you need
464high bandwidth over a fewer number of connections, especially if you have
465gigabit Ethernet, increasing these defaults can make a huge difference.
466You can adjust the buffer size for incoming and outgoing data separately.
467For example, if your machine is primarily doing web serving you may want
468to decrease the recvspace in order to be able to increase the
469sendspace without eating too much kernel memory.
470Note that the routing table (see
471.Xr route 8 )
472can be used to introduce route-specific send and receive buffer size
475As an additional management tool you can use pipes in your
476firewall rules (see
477.Xr ipfw 8 )
478to limit the bandwidth going to or from particular IP blocks or ports.
479For example, if you have a T1 you might want to limit your web traffic
480to 70% of the T1's bandwidth in order to leave the remainder available
481for mail and interactive use.
482Normally a heavily loaded web server
483will not introduce significant latencies into other services even if
484the network link is maxed out, but enforcing a limit can smooth things
485out and lead to longer term stability.
486Many people also enforce artificial
487bandwidth limitations in order to ensure that they are not charged for
488using too much bandwidth.
490Setting the send or receive TCP buffer to values larger then 65535 will result
491in a marginal performance improvement unless both hosts support the window
492scaling extension of the TCP protocol, which is controlled by the
493.Va net.inet.tcp.rfc1323
495These extensions should be enabled and the TCP buffer size should be set
496to a value larger than 65536 in order to obtain good performance from
497certain types of network links; specifically, gigabit WAN links and
498high-latency satellite links.
499RFC1323 support is enabled by default.
502.Va net.inet.tcp.always_keepalive
503sysctl determines whether or not the TCP implementation should attempt
504to detect dead TCP connections by intermittently delivering
505.Dq keepalives
506on the connection.
507By default, this is enabled for all applications; by setting this
508sysctl to 0, only applications that specifically request keepalives
509will use them.
510In most environments, TCP keepalives will improve the management of
511system state by expiring dead TCP connections, particularly for
512systems serving dialup users who may not always terminate individual
513TCP connections before disconnecting from the network.
514However, in some environments, temporary network outages may be
515incorrectly identified as dead sessions, resulting in unexpectedly
516terminated TCP connections.
517In such environments, setting the sysctl to 0 may reduce the occurrence of
518TCP session disconnections.
521.Va net.inet.tcp.delayed_ack
522TCP feature is largly misunderstood. Historically speaking this feature
523was designed to allow the acknowledgement to transmitted data to be returned
524along with the response. For example, when you type over a remote shell
525the acknowledgement to the character you send can be returned along with the
526data representing the echo of the character. With delayed acks turned off
527the acknowledgement may be sent in its own packet before the remote service
528has a chance to echo the data it just received. This same concept also
529applies to any interactive protocol (e.g. SMTP, WWW, POP3) and can cut the
9bb2a92d 530number of tiny packets flowing across the network in half. The DragonFly
531delayed-ack implementation also follows the TCP protocol rule that
532at least every other packet be acknowledged even if the standard 100ms
533timeout has not yet passed. Normally the worst a delayed ack can do is
534slightly delay the teardown of a connection, or slightly delay the ramp-up
535of a slow-start TCP connection. While we aren't sure we believe that
536the several FAQs related to packages such as SAMBA and SQUID which advise
9bb2a92d 537turning off delayed acks may be refering to the slow-start issue. In DragonFly
538it would be more beneficial to increase the slow-start flightsize via
540.Va net.inet.tcp.slowstart_flightsize
541sysctl rather then disable delayed acks.
544.Va net.inet.tcp.inflight_enable
545sysctl turns on bandwidth delay product limiting for all TCP connections.
546The system will attempt to calculate the bandwidth delay product for each
547connection and limit the amount of data queued to the network to just the
548amount required to maintain optimum throughput. This feature is useful
549if you are serving data over modems, GigE, or high speed WAN links (or
550any other link with a high bandwidth*delay product), especially if you are
551also using window scaling or have configured a large send window. If
552you enable this option you should also be sure to set
553.Va net.inet.tcp.inflight_debug
554to 0 (disable debugging), and for production use setting
555.Va net.inet.tcp.inflight_min
556to at least 6144 may be beneficial. Note, however, that setting high
557minimums may effectively disable bandwidth limiting depending on the link.
558The limiting feature reduces the amount of data built up in intermediate
559router and switch packet queues as well as reduces the amount of data built
560up in the local host's interface queue. With fewer packets queued up,
561interactive connections, especially over slow modems, will also be able
562to operate with lower round trip times. However, note that this feature
563only effects data transmission (uploading / server-side). It does not
564effect data reception (downloading).
567.Va net.inet.tcp.inflight_stab
568is not recommended.
569This parameter defaults to 20, representing 2 maximal packets added
570to the bandwidth delay product window calculation. The additional
571window is required to stabilize the algorithm and improve responsiveness
572to changing conditions, but it can also result in higher ping times
573over slow links (though still much lower then you would get without
574the inflight algorithm). In such cases you may
575wish to try reducing this parameter to 15, 10, or 5, and you may also
576have to reduce
577.Va net.inet.tcp.inflight_min
578(for example, to 3500) to get the desired effect. Reducing these parameters
579should be done as a last resort only.
582.Va net.inet.ip.portrange.*
583sysctls control the port number ranges automatically bound to TCP and UDP
584sockets. There are three ranges: A low range, a default range, and a
585high range, selectable via an IP_PORTRANGE setsockopt() call. Most
586network programs use the default range which is controlled by
587.Va net.inet.ip.portrange.first
589.Va net.inet.ip.portrange.last ,
590which defaults to 1024 and 5000 respectively. Bound port ranges are
591used for outgoing connections and it is possible to run the system out
592of ports under certain circumstances. This most commonly occurs when you are
593running a heavily loaded web proxy. The port range is not an issue
594when running serves which handle mainly incoming connections such as a
595normal web server, or has a limited number of outgoing connections such
596as a mail relay. For situations where you may run yourself out of
597ports we recommend increasing
598.Va net.inet.ip.portrange.last
599modestly. A value of 10000 or 20000 or 30000 may be reasonable. You should
600also consider firewall effects when changing the port range. Some firewalls
601may block large ranges of ports (usually low-numbered ports) and expect systems
602to use higher ranges of ports for outgoing connections. For this reason
603we do not recommend that
604.Va net.inet.ip.portrange.first
605be lowered.
608.Va kern.ipc.somaxconn
609sysctl limits the size of the listen queue for accepting new TCP connections.
610The default value of 128 is typically too low for robust handling of new
611connections in a heavily loaded web server environment.
612For such environments,
613we recommend increasing this value to 1024 or higher.
614The service daemon
615may itself limit the listen queue size (e.g.\&
616.Xr sendmail 8 ,
617apache) but will
618often have a directive in its configuration file to adjust the queue size up.
619Larger listen queues also do a better job of fending off denial of service
623.Va kern.maxfiles
624sysctl determines how many open files the system supports.
625The default is
626typically a few thousand but you may need to bump this up to ten or twenty
627thousand if you are running databases or large descriptor-heavy daemons.
628The read-only
629.Va kern.openfiles
630sysctl may be interrogated to determine the current number of open files
631on the system.
634.Va vm.swap_idle_enabled
635sysctl is useful in large multi-user systems where you have lots of users
636entering and leaving the system and lots of idle processes.
637Such systems
638tend to generate a great deal of continuous pressure on free memory reserves.
639Turning this feature on and adjusting the swapout hysteresis (in idle
640seconds) via
641.Va vm.swap_idle_threshold1
643.Va vm.swap_idle_threshold2
644allows you to depress the priority of pages associated with idle processes
645more quickly then the normal pageout algorithm.
646This gives a helping hand
647to the pageout daemon.
648Do not turn this option on unless you need it,
649because the tradeoff you are making is to essentially pre-page memory sooner
650rather then later, eating more swap and disk bandwidth.
651In a small system
652this option will have a detrimental effect but in a large system that is
653already doing moderate paging this option allows the VM system to stage
654whole processes into and out of memory more easily.
656Some aspects of the system behavior may not be tunable at runtime because
657memory allocations they perform must occur early in the boot process.
658To change loader tunables, you must set their values in
659.Xr loader.conf 5
660and reboot the system.
662.Va kern.maxusers
663controls the scaling of a number of static system tables, including defaults
664for the maximum number of open files, sizing of network memory resources, etc.
665As of
666.Fx 4.5 ,
667.Va kern.maxusers
668is automatically sized at boot based on the amount of memory available in
669the system, and may be determined at run-time by inspecting the value of the
671.Va kern.maxusers
673Some sites will require larger or smaller values of
674.Va kern.maxusers
675and may set it as a loader tunable; values of 64, 128, and 256 are not
677We do not recommend going above 256 unless you need a huge number
678of file descriptors; many of the tunable values set to their defaults by
679.Va kern.maxusers
680may be individually overridden at boot-time or run-time as described
681elsewhere in this document.
682Systems older than
683.Fx 4.4
684must set this value via the kernel
685.Xr config 8
687.Cd maxusers
690.Va kern.ipc.nmbclusters
691may be adjusted to increase the number of network mbufs the system is
692willing to allocate.
693Each cluster represents approximately 2K of memory,
694so a value of 1024 represents 2M of kernel memory reserved for network
696You can do a simple calculation to figure out how many you need.
697If you have a web server which maxes out at 1000 simultaneous connections,
698and each connection eats a 16K receive and 16K send buffer, you need
699approximately 32MB worth of network buffers to deal with it.
700A good rule of
701thumb is to multiply by 2, so 32MBx2 = 64MB/2K = 32768.
702So for this case
703you would want to set
704.Va kern.ipc.nmbclusters
705to 32768.
706We recommend values between
7071024 and 4096 for machines with moderates amount of memory, and between 4096
708and 32768 for machines with greater amounts of memory.
709Under no circumstances
710should you specify an arbitrarily high value for this parameter, it could
711lead to a boot-time crash.
713.Fl m
714option to
715.Xr netstat 1
716may be used to observe network cluster use.
717Older versions of
719do not have this tunable and require that the
721.Xr config 8
724be set instead.
726More and more programs are using the
727.Xr sendfile 2
728system call to transmit files over the network.
730.Va kern.ipc.nsfbufs
731sysctl controls the number of filesystem buffers
732.Xr sendfile 2
733is allowed to use to perform its work.
734This parameter nominally scales
736.Va kern.maxusers
737so you should not need to modify this parameter except under extreme
740There are a number of kernel options that you may have to fiddle with in
741a large-scale system.
742In order to change these options you need to be
743able to compile a new kernel from source.
745.Xr config 8
746manual page and the handbook are good starting points for learning how to
747do this.
748Generally the first thing you do when creating your own custom
749kernel is to strip out all the drivers and services you do not use.
750Removing things like
751.Dv INET6
752and drivers you do not have will reduce the size of your kernel, sometimes
753by a megabyte or more, leaving more memory available for applications.
758may be used to reduce system boot times.
759The defaults are fairly high and
760can be responsible for 15+ seconds of delay in the boot process.
763to 5 seconds usually works (especially with modern drives).
766also works but you have to be a little more careful.
768There are a number of
769.Dv *_CPU
770options that can be commented out.
771If you only want the kernel to run
772on a Pentium class CPU, you can easily remove
773.Dv I386_CPU
775.Dv I486_CPU ,
776but only remove
777.Dv I586_CPU
778if you are sure your CPU is being recognized as a Pentium II or better.
779Some clones may be recognized as a Pentium or even a 486 and not be able
780to boot without those options.
781If it works, great!
782The operating system
783will be able to better-use higher-end CPU features for MMU, task switching,
784timebase, and even device operations.
785Additionally, higher-end CPUs support
7864MB MMU pages, which the kernel uses to map the kernel itself into memory,
787increasing its efficiency under heavy syscall loads.
789.Fx 4.3
790flirted with turning off IDE write caching.
791This reduced write bandwidth
792to IDE disks but was considered necessary due to serious data consistency
793issues introduced by hard drive vendors.
794Basically the problem is that
795IDE drives lie about when a write completes.
796With IDE write caching turned
797on, IDE hard drives will not only write data to disk out of order, they
798will sometimes delay some of the blocks indefinitely under heavy disk
800A crash or power failure can result in serious filesystem
802So our default was changed to be safe.
803Unfortunately, the
804result was such a huge loss in performance that we caved in and changed the
805default back to on after the release.
806You should check the default on
807your system by observing the
808.Va hw.ata.wc
809sysctl variable.
810If IDE write caching is turned off, you can turn it back
811on by setting the
812.Va hw.ata.wc
813loader tunable to 1.
814More information on tuning the ATA driver system may be found in the
815.Xr ata 4
816man page.
818There is a new experimental feature for IDE hard drives called
819.Va hw.ata.tags
820(you also set this in the boot loader) which allows write caching to be safely
821turned on.
822This brings SCSI tagging features to IDE drives.
823As of this
824writing only IBM DPTA and DTLA drives support the feature.
827drives apparently have quality control problems and I do not recommend
828purchasing them at this time.
829If you need performance, go with SCSI.
831The type of tuning you do depends heavily on where your system begins to
832bottleneck as load increases.
833If your system runs out of CPU (idle times
834are perpetually 0%) then you need to consider upgrading the CPU or moving to
835an SMP motherboard (multiple CPU's), or perhaps you need to revisit the
836programs that are causing the load and try to optimize them.
837If your system
838is paging to swap a lot you need to consider adding more memory.
839If your
840system is saturating the disk you typically see high CPU idle times and
841total disk saturation.
842.Xr systat 1
843can be used to monitor this.
844There are many solutions to saturated disks:
845increasing memory for caching, mirroring disks, distributing operations across
846several machines, and so forth.
847If disk performance is an issue and you
848are using IDE drives, switching to SCSI can help a great deal.
849While modern
850IDE drives compare with SCSI in raw sequential bandwidth, the moment you
851start seeking around the disk SCSI drives usually win.
853Finally, you might run out of network suds.
854The first line of defense for
855improving network performance is to make sure you are using switches instead
856of hubs, especially these days where switches are almost as cheap.
858have severe problems under heavy loads due to collision backoff and one bad
859host can severely degrade the entire LAN.
860Second, optimize the network path
861as much as possible.
862For example, in
863.Xr firewall 7
864we describe a firewall protecting internal hosts with a topology where
865the externally visible hosts are not routed through it.
866Use 100BaseT rather
867than 10BaseT, or use 1000BaseT rather then 100BaseT, depending on your needs.
868Most bottlenecks occur at the WAN link (e.g.\&
869modem, T1, DSL, whatever).
870If expanding the link is not an option it may be possible to use the
871.Xr dummynet 4
872feature to implement peak shaving or other forms of traffic shaping to
873prevent the overloaded service (such as web services) from affecting other
874services (such as email), or vice versa.
875In home installations this could
876be used to give interactive traffic (your browser,
877.Xr ssh 1
878logins) priority
879over services you export from your box (web services, email).
881.Xr netstat 1 ,
882.Xr systat 1 ,
883.Xr ata 4 ,
884.Xr dummynet 4 ,
885.Xr login.conf 5 ,
886.Xr rc.conf 5 ,
887.Xr sysctl.conf 5 ,
888.Xr firewall 7 ,
889.Xr hier 7 ,
890.Xr ports 7 ,
891.Xr boot 8 ,
892.Xr ccdconfig 8 ,
893.Xr config 8 ,
894.Xr disklabel 8 ,
895.Xr fsck 8 ,
896.Xr ifconfig 8 ,
897.Xr ipfw 8 ,
898.Xr loader 8 ,
899.Xr mount 8 ,
900.Xr newfs 8 ,
901.Xr route 8 ,
902.Xr sysctl 8 ,
903.Xr sysinstall 8 ,
904.Xr tunefs 8 ,
905.Xr vinum 8
909manual page was originally written by
910.An Matthew Dillon
911and first appeared
913.Fx 4.3 ,
914May 2001.